When a news story reports that a person's blood alcohol level was over the legal limit, an image of a driver taking a breathalyzer test after being pulled over by a cop may come to mind. However, drivers are not the only people who need to be aware of how much they have had to drink before turning on an ignition.
Boating under the influence of alcohol can also be very dangerous. Drunken boaters cause accidents every year in the San Diego area. One man who was boating on an East Coast river last summer caused an accident that resulted in serious injuries, but luckily no fatalities.
This man was reportedly operating his speed boat at a high speed when he drove directly into another speed boat. The grandfather operating the other speed boat was with his grandchildren that summer night. This grandfather and his grandchildren incurred serious injuries.
According to a report, the first boater's blood alcohol content was 0.24, or three times the legal limit of 0.08. This man suffered some injuries, but was not seriously hurt in the accident. As a result of his actions, this boater faces misdemeanor charges and will go to trial this spring. If he is convicted, this man could be sentenced to one year in jail and face fines.
Just because a person is operating a boat, as opposed to a car, does not mean that he or she cannot be held responsible for the consequences of driving drunk. A person in a similar situation to this grandfather may want to consider seeking compensation for injuries incurred by the other boater's negligence. Seeking compensation in this situation may be challenging, but it could be worthwhile.
Source: CBS Baltimore, "Delegate charged in drunken boat crash opens up about his battle with alcohol," Mary Bubala, Feb. 7, 2013